Saint Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)
The Order of the Holy Sepulchre adopted the rule of St Augustine in 1114 AD - binding themselves to live the Common Life together, after the example of the Early Church in Jerusalem.
People travel to wonder
at the height of mountains,
at the huge waves of the sea,
at the long courses of rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motion of the stars....
and they pass by themselves without wondering.
Find out how much God has given you
and from it take what you need;
the remainder is needed by others.
Pray as though everything depended on God.
Work as though everything depended on you.
Saint Augustine's Rule is said to be the oldest rule for Religious Life in the Western Church and, though the shortest, its precepts get to the very basis of human life. It was understood that if the precepts were faithfully carried out the details would look after themselves.
A group which came together in vowed Community life were to
enjoy a common life, centred on God and striving for God. The core
statement of the Rule is from Acts 4:32
The whole group of believers was of one mind and one heart. No one claimed any of his possessions as his own but all things were held in common.
This is the fundamental message of the Rule - love, love of God and our neighbour. Much of the rule is concerned with care of members of the Community in sickness and in health. The rule exhorts all to live in harmony, being of one heart and mind on the way to God.
Saint Augustine was born on November 13th 354 in Thagaste, Numidia (now Souk Ahares, Algeria). He died on August 28th 430 in Hippo Regius, Numidia (now Annaba, Algeria). He was a Latin speaking philosopher and theologian.
He had a colourful and varied youth and was the father of a boy, Deodatus. He taught in Carthage and Rome and became a professor of rhetoric in Milan. Augustine became a Christian, and was baptised in 387. He was ordained priest in 391 in Hippo and became bishop in 395.
In 397 he wrote a Rule of common life for lay Christians and founded a community of laymen with whom he shared life and prayer. After he was made bishop he invited his priests to share a community life with him.
To find out more about St Augustine click onto www.augustinians.org.